When an Emotional Affair Becomes Just as Damaging as Cheating
Free-spirited we are, but at times unaware of how easily we can confuse normal and healthy human interaction with a line that shouldn’t be crossed. Some of the most damaging marital affairs may never go beyond the realm of emotional attachment. Infidelity in marriage comes in all shapes and sizes, with the act of sex often being the last cog in the wheel that damages the relationship beyond repair.
What is more daunting is the task of coping with infidelity while knowing that the physical was the end of a long emotional journey in which your spouse found emotional respite in a stranger. Feelings of inadequacy settle in with a sense of loss that is difficult to mend, and ultimately hurts the level of marriage intimacy you can maintain. But why? It’s simple: Emotional affairs make gaining trust after infidelity more difficult in many ways than the extramarital sex because it surfaces all of the areas of your marriage that were insufficient. This is a mightily difficult pill to swallow.
Sadly, many marriages are destroyed by what some would view as harmless flirting. A professional relationship that turns to friendship can gradually escalate to inappropriateness at such a subtle level that neither spouse may be aware that an affair is even happening. But, and a big but at that, there are still specific signs of infidelity that should tell you it’s time to sit down with your partner and communicate your concerns.
Some of the signs you should be looking for include emotional withdrawal, a loss of interest in sex and a gap in the level of productive communication you and your partner are experiencing on a daily basis.
As the signs present themselves, ask yourself who you can turn to for marriage help and advice. Don’t be afraid to look for advice from friends or family who have survived the experience of an emotional affair, and be prepared to confront your spouse in a positive and non-accusatory manner. Bring your concerns to the table and point out to your spouse the specific activities and behaviors about which you are concerned. Often an emotional affair progresses without knowledge that a line has been crossed and that damage has already been done.
Once you have confronted your spouse, even with your best efforts you may find that you really need marriage help. Please contact us and inquire about A New Beginning. We really can help.